literature

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New Harry Potter Story Coming on Halloween

Tale of scary Professor Umbridge to be published online

(Newser) - A new Harry Potter story is on its way. JK Rowling has announced the story's debut on Potter website Pottermore.com , the New York Daily News reports. Appropriately for Halloween, the story will deal with the frightening Professor Umbridge, whom Rowling notes is "not only one of the... More »

French Recluse Modiano Wins Literature Nobel

Work explores Jewishness, Nazi occupation of France

(Newser) - Patrick Modiano of France, whose work focuses on the Nazi occupation and its effect on his country, was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature today. The Swedish Academy gave the $1.1 million prize to Modiano "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable... More »

Harry Potter Casts Spell on Millennials' Political Views

Readers show 'greater support for equality': Anthony Gierzynski

(Newser) - JK Rowling's boy wizard hasn't just entertained millennials—he's worked his magic on their political views as well, writes a political science professor who's studied the subject. After surveying university students, Anthony Gierzynski found that "reading the books correlated with greater levels of acceptance for... More »

Rotting Boat To Become Luxury Literary Tourist Attraction

Owner set to move it to Salinas; captain's nephew opposes plan

(Newser) - For eight months, John Steinbeck's fishing boat has been moldering in Port Townsend, Washington. Now it's likely headed for a new home—but there's some controversy about where that will be, the New York Times reports. The Western Flyer, which Steinbeck chartered in 1940, set the stage... More »

Tolkien's 'New' Labor of Love: Beowulf

'Lost' Beowulf translation published almost 90 years later

(Newser) - In 1926, an Oxford University professor named JRR Tolkien finished a translation of Beowulf—in his words, the "greatest of the surviving works of ancient English poetic art." Tolkien called the 11th-century work "sombre, tragic, sinister," and "curiously real," the Guardian notes. Elements of... More »

Lost Story by Tennessee Williams Published

It's about an old college flame

(Newser) - Fans of Tennessee Williams have a new piece of fiction to savor, reports the BBC . A US literary journal called the Strand has published a long-lost short story from the author of A Streetcar Named Desire called Crazy Night. It features a student named Anna Jean, an apparent reference to... More »

Teacher Stabs Friend in Poetry vs. Prose Dispute

Russian men were drunk at the time, say police

(Newser) - A Russian man has been arrested for allegedly stabbing and killing his friend, because that friend preferred prose to poetry, police revealed today. You will be shocked to learn that both men were drunk. The alleged killer, a 53-year-old former teacher, had been lodging in the 67-year-old victim's home... More »

'Bad Sex in Fiction' Winner Apparently Likes Science

Manil Suri's 'The City of Devi' takes the prize

(Newser) - Let's see how hot this gets you:
  • "Surely supernovas explode that instant, somewhere, in some galaxy. The hut vanishes, and with it the sea and the sands—only Karun's body, locked with mine, remains. We streak like superheroes past suns and solar systems, we dive through shoals
... More »

Catcher In the Rye 'Prequel' Leaks Online

Along with two other unpublished JD Salinger works

(Newser) - Three unpublished stories by JD Salinger have leaked online—including The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls, a sort-of prequel to Catcher in the Rye often cited as the author's greatest unpublished work. PDF scans showed up on a members-only torrent site yesterday, and quickly made their way to Reddit... More »

Man Finishes Life's Work: Translating Famed Porn Tale

David Tod Roy finishes incredible effort with publication of final volume

(Newser) - It's being described by the New York Times as having a "Ulysses'-like level of quotidian detail": an almost 3,000-page book that stretches over five volumes and features more than 4,000 endnotes. It also happens to be incredibly pornographic. David Tod Roy, an 80-year-old emeritus professor... More »

34-Year-Old Sells Debut Novel for About $2M

Garth Risk Hallberg's 'City on Fire' set in 1970s NYC

(Newser) - There's a good chance you've never heard the name Garth Risk Hallberg; that ends now. The 34-year-old's debut novel, City on Fire, found itself the subject of a two-day bidding war that ended with quite the payday for its young author: nearly $2 million, two sources tell... More »

Poet Pablo Neruda Wasn't Poisoned: Tests

But family says Chilean case isn't closed

(Newser) - The four-decade mystery of whether Chilean Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda was poisoned was seemingly cleared up today, when forensic test results showed no chemical agents in his bones. But his family and driver were not satisfied and said they'll request more tests. Neruda died under suspicious circumstances in... More »

Harper Lee Battles Her Hometown's Tiny Museum

Files a lawsuit against the Monroe County Heritage Museum

(Newser) - Harper Lee is apparently as litigious as she is reclusive. The To Kill a Mockingbird author has, in the Guardian's words, "shocked" her hometown of Monroeville, Ala., by suing its local museum. The 87-year-old's accusation: that the nonprofit is making use of her fame without compensation. The... More »

Kiwi, 28, Is Youngest to Win Man Booker

Judges loved Eleanor Catton's 'The Luminaries'

(Newser) - At an age when many authors are still just getting warmed up, New Zealand author Eleanor Catton has taken home one of the literary world's big prizes. The 28-year-old won the Man Booker Prize for The Luminaries, a tale of murder and greed in her homeland's 19th-century goldfields.... More »

This Book Will Scare You Off Social Media

Dave Eggers' novel The Circle describes Facebook-like firm: Michele Filgate

(Newser) - Most of us are familiar with the pervasive need to check, and recheck, Facebook and Twitter—but it's not always easy to take a step back and realize how dependent we've become. For Michele Filgate, that moment of perspective came when she read Dave Eggers' upcoming book, The ... More »

Alice Munro Wins Literature Nobel

She's the 13th woman to win

(Newser) - Once again, the USA has been shut out: This year's Nobel Prize for Literature went to Alice Munro today. The Canadian author is a "master of the contemporary short story," said Peter Englund, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, in making the announcement. Munro's books... More »

On the Road's 'Camille' Dead at 90

Carolyn Cassady was married to Neal for roughly 15 years

(Newser) - Carolyn Cassady, a key figure in the Beat Generation of writers—both as character and author—has died at age 90 after slipping into a coma following an emergency appendectomy, the New York Times reports. Cassady, who inspired the character of Camille in Jack Kerouac's On the Road, was... More »

Female Slave Who Penned 1850s Novel Identified

Professor says Hannah Bond wrote 'The Bondwoman's Narrative'

(Newser) - A long-running literary mystery may have been solved: The Bondwoman's Narrative was published to much acclaim in 2002, but it was no modern work—the novel was believed to have been written in the 1850s by a female slave using the pseudonym Hannah Crafts. But who that author truly... More »

School Board Bans Ellison's Invisible Man

Member found 'no literary value' in award-winning racial narrative

(Newser) - A North Carolina county school board has voted to ban Ralph Ellison's acclaimed novel Invisible Man from school libraries, after a parent complained about its language, its sexual content, and the fact that it was written in the first person. "I didn't find any literary value,"... More »

Book Claims Secret Deformity Made Salinger a Recluse

Says the famed author only had one testicle

(Newser) - If you thought the recent revelation that five new JD Salinger books are due out was juicy, well, you haven't seen anything yet. That tidbit came compliments of Salinger the book and Salinger the documentary, which were written/directed by David Shields and Shane Salerno and are both due out... More »

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